Alabama Workers Make Their Voices Heard

Resoundingly Reject President Biden’s Pro-Union Monopoly Pitch

Alabama workers
After warehouse workers in Alabama rebuffed his exhortations to go union early this year, President Biden can be expected to push even harder for passage of legislation corralling employees into unions against their will. (Credit: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst)

By all accounts, recently elected President Joe Biden ought to have been a popular messenger with the nearly 5,900 front-line employees at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, who were eligible to vote in the facility’s recent, globally publicized unionization election.

Amazon’s Bessemer workforce is estimated to be 85% African American. And Mr. Biden was backed by an amazing 91% of Alabama’s African American voters last November, according to Associated Press exit polling.

Union bosses and their partisans in the media evidently thought, if they could get the President to be Big Labor’s chief pitchman, they couldn’t lose. 

For weeks, they publicly prodded the White House to get involved in the Bessemer campaign.

President: Talks About Unionization’s Potential Downsides Shouldn’t Occur

On February 28, Mr. Biden did as he was told, releasing a video message in favor of handing monopoly control over Bessemer fulfillment center employees to Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU/AFL-CIO) bosses.

Rabidly anti-Right to Work New York Times pundit Jamelle Bouie extolled it as “one of the most pro-union statements ever issued from the White House.” 

Ignoring ample evidence to the contrary, Mr. Biden suggested that Bessemer employees, who currently earn higher wages than most comparable workers nationally, even though Right to Work Alabama’s cost of living is far below the U.S. average, as well as good benefits, were sure to be “lifted up” by unionization.

The President also cajoled employees not to participate in any discussions about the possible downsides of unionization. 

More Than 70% of the Employees Who Voted Opposed Union Rule

Unfortunately for all the Big Labor officials who were counting on the Biden pitch to put RWDSU bosses over the top in their quest to seize monopoly power to speak for the Amazon warehouse employees on matters concerning their pay, benefits, and work rules, the employees just didn’t buy it. 

Among the warehouse employees who participated in the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)-overseen election, 71% cast ballots against the RWDSU brass. 

Just 13% of front-line employees voted “Union Yes.”

After the votes were counted, a number of the employees who had opposed unionization readily explained why to New York Times reporters Karen Weise and Noam Scheiber.

Big Labor Loudens Demands For New Privileges For Union Organizers

One of the warehouse employees observed that, after working roughly a year for Amazon, he was already earning a higher wage than he had after six years working as a journalist for nearby newspapers.

“I personally don’t see the need for a union,” said former reporter Graham Brooks, who is optimistic he can continue to improve his circumstances union-free.

Big Labor officials now blame their loss in part on the fact that employees who staunchly opposed unionization were afforded ample opportunities to explain their stance to their coworkers before the vote took place.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen  commented:

“Union bosses’ recent bitter experience in Alabama has only hardened their and their puppet politicians’ determination to pass into law federal legislation that would make it far easier for Big Labor to keep workers in the dark throughout future organizing campaigns.

“Their vehicle of choice is H.R.842/S.420, the so-called ‘Protecting the Right to Organize’ Act, or ‘PRO’ Act for short.”

As the cover story of this month’s Newsletter explains, the single most outrageous provision in this omnibus legislation would empower union bosses in all 50 states, including the 27 erstwhile Right to Work states, to force employees to pay union fees against their will. 

“Alabama’s and the other 26 state Right to Work laws will be meaningless if H.R.842/S.420, aptly labeled as the Pushbutton-Unionism Bill, becomes federal law,” said Mr. Leen.

“Another provision would effectively prohibit employers from informing their own employees about why unionization might not be in their best interest.

“This scheme is a brazen attack on the personal freedom of American employees.

Right to Work members will do everything possible to ensure it never becomes law, and to hold politicians who support it accountable.”

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. You can go here to access previous newsletter posts.

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